Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. Absent your agreement to somehow be responsible for the debt, adult children are not legally responsible for the medical debts of their parents.
Let me know if you have any follow up questions or concerns. I'm happy to answer.
Thanks for the answer. So do we just ignore the letters from the hospital? And when it does go to collections, do we just say the person in question does not live at the address?
fyi my mother has gone back to her home country and will not be visiting the US again.
You can, but do not have to, do a couple things -1) call the hospital and explain that she is your mother and does not live with you and to stop sending the bills to you, 2) don't open the bills and write "wrong address -return to sender" on the envelope and stick it back in the mail; 3) wait for it to go to collections then explain to the bill collector that it's not you and to stop calling/writing etc. I'd probably do 1 just to avoid all the hassle.
The hospital really has no way to collect from her, they're not going to be able to collect - so you might as well tell them now to stop the matter.
Thanks. If I do option (1) i.e. call hospital, will I will be required to furnish the foreign address or can I say I don't want to give it?and the hospital may send bills abroad. This is not a huge sum...about $6000.
You don't have to give them her address - no
One last question. We have already paid a couple of small bills we received. Can this be held against us for not paying the larger costs?
No, paying a bill after the fact is not an implied agreement that you'd responsible for other bills or past accrued bills.
Thanks. You have been very helpful. I will rate your service as excellent.
You're welcome. Please leave a positive rating before you exit this chat as it is the only way I get credit for my answers. If you have any questions in the future regarding this matter come back to this thread and I'll be happy to answer. Thanks .